Residents along the Yangtze River have worked to stop acts of environmental destruction
  ·  2020-07-20  ·   Source: NO.30 JULY 23, 2020
A fishery regulator inspects the Jialing River, a tributary of the Yangtze River, on January 13 (XINHUA)

Volunteers in Jiangjin District of Chongqing, southwest China, attracted the public's attention recently with their activities to crackdown on illegal fishing and protect fish along the Yangtze River. Meanwhile, the reinforcement of a fishing ban and the restoration of the river's ecological environment has also become a hot topic.

China began a 10-year fishing moratorium at the beginning of this year in 332 conservation areas in the Yangtze River basin, which will be expanded to all the natural waterways of the country's longest river and its major tributaries starting no later than January 1, 2021.

However, it is a difficult task without the participation of the masses due to its wide area. In recent years, residents along the Yangtze River have worked to stop acts of environmental destruction and enhance awareness of ecological protection.

Many illegal fishing cases were discovered and reported by the public, such as the volunteers in Jiangjin, the majority being fishermen redeployed to other sectors who have strong emotional attachment and understanding of the river. Their participation has more effectively enforced the Yangtze fishing ban and prevented illegal fishing.

In addition, although some local governments have ramped up efforts to develop civilian forces, there is a lack of financial support and other encouragement that can drain people's enthusiasm. Moreover, without a standard reporting mechanism, volunteers do not have access to follow-up information, which can lead to distrusting enforcement departments.

To give full play to these volunteers, local governments can provide financial support by purchasing services with the guarantee of funds and equipment, making up for the lack of an official force. A comprehensive mechanism should also be created with information registration, timely feedback and incentives.

This is an edited excerpt of an article originally published in on July 11 

(Print Edition Title: Motivating the Public)

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